31 October 1997

Records vital to claim quota

TENANT dairy farmers coming up for retirement are advised to obtain detailed records in order to substantiate any claims for quota entitlement.

Without this, plans to use their share of quota as a pension fund could be shattered, warns Richard Brogden of chartered surveyors, Bruton Knowles.

"Unless tenants have accurate cropping and stocking records for the relevant period (usually 1983), along with details of tenants improvements, fixtures erected prior to that date and the rent actually paid that year, they may not get their full quota compensation entitlement," he warns.

These factors all play a part in determining the split of quota between landlord and tenant. Once established, the landlord is obliged to compensate the tenant for his share, based on its market value. (Bruton Knowles takes the average price of clean quota for three months before and after the end of the tenancy.)

"It is increasingly apparent from recent conversations, especially with tenant farmers, that knowledge and understanding of the quota legal system is limited," says Mr Brogden. "It is important for both parties to be aware of the implications of the Agriculture Holdings Act and Agriculture Act, before starting negotiations, and for tenants in particular to obtain full records."n